Poetry Daily: http://www.poems.com/

The Ballad of Foot and Mouth


One-ery, Two-ery, Ziccary, Zeven
Hollow-bone, Crack-a-bone, Ten-or-eleven
Spin, Spun, It-must-be-done

So they push them up—the ewes,
the wethers, the lambs, the tupps—
With their yellow dozers like flowers o

Eena, Deena, Dina, Dust
Catt'lla, Jweena, Wina, Wust

With their yellow dozers like flowers o
The wethers, the half-grown lambs, the tupps
in mountains now with their legs stiff up

Ein, Tein, Tethra, Methera, Pimp
Awfus, Daufus, Deefus, Dumfus, Dix

In mountains now with their legs stiff up
The wethers, the half-grown lambs, the ewes
And what is motherhood now o

One-ery, Two-ery, Ziccary, Zeven
Hollow-bone, Crack-a-bone, Ten-or-Eleven
Spin, Spun, It-must-be-done

And what is motherhood now o
as the ash smoulders in the backs of our throats
of the ewes, the wethers, the half-grown lambs

And the moors all empty but for the wind
that moans as it licks at the dry stone walls
And that's your motherhood now o

Spin, Spun, It-must-be-done
Twiddledum, Twaddledum, Twenty-one.

                       (Note)


Lola Haskins

The Grace to Leave
Anhinga Press


To view this poem online, visit the Poetry Daily archive at http://www.poems.com/archive.php
View a large-print version of this poem